When the end of the world arrived, the densely populated cities immediately descended into hell. Vehicle pile-ups lined the streets, rolling with smoke and flames. The living dead roamed around, and mutilated remains were strewn across the roads.
The doors to the shops were open wide, with shards of glass everywhere. It looked as though a tornado had blew past the shelves, and the walls were splashed with blood and handprints.
There was a person lying on the ground in front, his limbs still twitching reflexively, but his intestines were already hanging out from his stomach. A few zombies surrounded him, chewing on the flesh of his arms and thighs. One lifted his guts and swallowed it greedily, and the floor was washed with blood.
The silver Toyota Camry sped past. Smelling the scent of a human, the zombies staggered up to start chasing, but the car had long left them in its dust.
The young man looked at the rearview mirror. On the roof of the prison building in the distance, a military chopper was slowly ascending, flying past the devastated city, heading straight for the horizon that was engulfed in thick black smoke.
Retracting his gaze, he adjusted the rearview mirror slightly. In an instant, he seemed to have seen something in the mirror, and his actions paused slightly.
Those were a pair of cloudy grey eyes.
Looking quietly ravenous right behind him.
The young man slammed on his brakes. With the squealing sounds of the tires, he looked back, only to see that in his blindspot, a little girl was trapped within the safety belt of the backseat. Quietly huddling in a corner, she looked to be about two or three years old, no bigger than a cat. On her head was two braided buns, and she was hugging a doll.
Her face had already completely turned black, and her mouth gaped open and close. Purplish red blood flowed down from the corner of her mouth to her neck. She was staring straight at the young man, and next to her was a handbag stained with fresh blood.
The young man closed his eyes gently.
He could imagine what the situation was like at that time. A husband unwilling to give up on his infected wife and daughter, escaping the city in his car, trying to look for help on the way, only to finally be bitten dead in the driver’s seat, then the zombified wife opening the car door and running away.
He opened his eyes, aiming his gun right between the brows of the little zombie girl, but his finger was unable to pull the trigger.
The zombies on the streets had surrounded the car, insensibly pounding at its windows, all groaning loudly. In a moment, the young man lowered his gun, reached out and seized the little girl’s neck. With a crack, the neck was broken, and the corpse sagged in the backseat.
He did not toss the little zombie out of the car. After silently looking at her for a moment, he stepped on the accelerator and drove straight ahead.
A kilometre ahead, beside the multi storey car park, the yellow sign of the pharmacy was abnormally eye-catching through the smoke.
At the same moment, on the second storey of the car park.
In the wide space were ten over cars riddled with bullet holes. Corpses littered the ground, and the alarms were sounding non-stop. The smell of gunpowder mingled with the bloody scent of the dead bodies, forcefully penetrating their nerves.
“We’ve been surrounded by a group of zombies,” Yan Hao lowered his binoculars and said hoarsely. “The alley at the back exit is a dead end, and the entrance has been blocked by a tide of zombies, I’m estimating there to be about a few hundred of them. The adjacent buildings are a hospital, a school, and and drugstore. This is a Level 1 Red Danger Zone, we’re unable to rappel our way through, and we’re also running low on ammo.”
Next to an armoured vehicle equipped with biochemical weapons, a few team members were quickly reorganising their equipment. Hearing his words, they simultaneously turned to look at a silhouette.
The strict and harsh long-term training had allowed them to control their emotions tightly, but in the silence, they could still identify that vague hopelessness. Through the oppressive silence, the mournful wails and the pounding on the doors became even clearer.
“Captain…” Yan Hao spoke haltingly.
Zhou Rong was leaning against a blood-spattered wall, under the eyes of everyone, he looked up, but did not speak. A cold gleam of light shot out from his hand — at the same time, about twenty steps away, a knife was embedded in the skull of a zombie hiding in behind a concrete pillar, hitting deep inside. With a thud, the zombie fell over.
“Pack up the equipment, get ready to breach.”
Zhou Rong stood and and took a few steps. He was nearly 190cm tall, and was dressed in full black defensive gear. Backlit by the light, his expression could not be seen clearly, and only his low and frosty voice could be head. A team member seemed to have realised something, and suddenly straightened up, “Rong-ge1! Where are you going?!”
Zhou Rong found an Audi sports car that had bullet holes punctured through its side. As everyone watched, he shattered a window with a fist. From the glove compartment he found a key, then opened the car door and sat in it.
“I’ll lead the zombies from the entrance to the back exit. After breaching them you’ll head towards the South-East direction, the target is the underground shelter in the city 30 klicks away.”
He started the ignition and released the handbrake, and the bullet-riddled sports car roared alive. “Once I get away I’ll rally up with you guys as soon as I can. If I’m still not back by the time you arrive, the responsibility of the team leader would fall to Yan Hao, then send your location signal back to the base.”
“Captain!” In a split second, Yan Hao yelled, and a few team members stood up, unable to accept it.
“No, Rong-ge, you can’t!”
Zhou Rong stuck his head out through the window, and those tapered and pretty eyes narrowed with, “Mn?”
Without a smile, Zhou Rong’s features had a cold and rebellious feeling to them, causing people to feel a formidable cynicism coming from him. Even the arch of his eyebrows and his contracted pupils would silently give off the feeling that this person was a hard nut to crack, enough to distract the person looking at him from his natural handsomeness.
With the authority he had accumulated over many years, the team members all reflexively choked. Losing control, Yan Hao took a few steps forward, about to say something, but Zhou Rong then pointed at him, that gesture laid with a heavy unarguable command, and he stopped in his tracks.
Zhou Rong smiled — when he smiled, his cynical air would disappear. The corners of his lips turned up, his eyes curving with a smile, and with that came a sort of disreputable charm of a yuppie.
“You guys, stop chirping away like sissies.” He jabbed one by one at his team members. “Wait for Rong-ge and rally at that shelter. Now, scram.”
The members tightened their hands around their assault rifles, looking at each other, and despair welled up in their eyes.
The lights of the sports car lit up, it reversed, and rolling over the corpses on the ground it made a sharp u-turn.
“Wait… Hold up, Captain!”
Yan Hao’s eyes were glued to the window. He seemed to suddenly see something, and said in disbelief, “There’s someone… Someone’s coming!”
— Countless zombies were swarming the entrance of the multi storey car park, pounding away at the door. On the road behind them, a silver Toyota Camry stopped abruptly, then backed up immediately, and its window rolled down.
Could there still be a lucky survivor in this car park?
The young man scrutinised this building of eight storeys. Conspicuously, every window had been shattered, blood was everywhere, and nothing within could be clearly seen from outside. Only from a window facing the road on the second storey, a silhouette of a person could be seen vaguely. He might be a civilian who had ran into the building blindly when the city fell.
The electronics for controlling the entrance of the car park had already been sealed, but under the ceaseless poundings of the zombies, the hollow metal door had started to concave inwards dangerously, and to breach it was only a matter of time.
The young man’s brows knitted slightly, feeling a sense of hesitancy.
He gazed at the wide open drugstore nearby. Only a few zombie boys were there, dressed in a middle school uniform. They shuffled about aimlessly, and were probably infected in the nearby school before coming out here.
Although he had temporarily lost his memories due to a blow to his head, overwhelming shock, or other reasons, but he still retained his common sense. He needed a pheromone inhibitor to disguise himself as a Beta, and now that that lucky survivor had drawn all the zombies away, his plan to run into the drugstore would definitely be a success.
But that fragile metal door would most likely only be able to last for a few more minutes.
And once he ran into the drugstore, what if the zombie crowd swarmed in after him?
The young man inhaled deeply, and his eyes fell on a motorbike about twenty metres away whose rider had died in a collision with a tree. Silently counting to three, he shoved the car door open.
The roar of the engine echoed through the streets, as though announcing the start of a meal.
On the second storey of the car park, Yan Hao’s voice was still filled with astonishment. “This person…”
“Is… is he helping us to lead the zombies away…?”
Zhou Rong strode forward, looking through his binoculars towards the street. Focusing his lens, he saw a young man hunched over a motorbike, his head completely blocked by a helmet, and a leather jacket zipped all the way up to his chin. Exhaust could be seen coming out from the tailpipe of the motorbike accompanied with the growl of the engine.
More and more zombies were getting lured by the sound. They stopped pounding, turned their heads, and lurched after the motorbike in a group.
Twenty metres, ten metres, five metres…
The zombies on the road were about to reach the motorbike, and at the entrance of the car park, there were only about 30 odds zombies left. The motorbike rider raised his left arm, and motioned towards the second storey window.
“Yan Hao, start the car!” Zhou Rong tossed his binoculars away, he raised and aimed his rifle. “Get into the car, everyone get into the car and get ready to break through!”
Gunshots sounded, the bullets flew through the air. In the distant crowd of zombies, the heads of the few closest to the motorbike exploded.
That seemed to signal the start of the action. At that very second, the motorbike moved, and shot forward with a roar!
“Go go go, hurry!”
The members swiftly leapt up the armoured vehicle. Yan Hao steered with one hand, and the as his other hand retrieved his magazine and tossed it out of the window. As though he had a pair of eyes at the back of his head, Zhou Rong caught the magazine without turning his head. Attaching it to his rifle with a click, he rested the gun barrel on the window sill, and the rapid sound of gunfire could be heard!
Under the rain of bullets, the motorbike burst through the zombie crowd, grinding the countless zombies under its wheels into pulp, and headed straight for the intersection.
The zombies stumbled after it. Looking from above, it could be seen that even zombies from the nearby streets had been alerted and drawn to the commotion. Their numbers increased, and soon gathered into a magnificent mass.
Some with broken limbs, some with blood trickling from their orifices, and all who were unable to rest in peace… the thick throng of zombies made people shiver in fear. However, at the brink of life and death, no one was able to care about their fear, at the intersection, the motorbike rider took a sharp turn, and roared into the Dong Nan Street2!
With a loud bang, the door to the car park finally raised up, and the armoured vehicle rolled over the zombies who did not have time to dodge.
“Captain—” Yan Hao yelled.
From the second storey, Zhou Rong pushed himself off the window sill and leapt down. With a thud, he landed heavily on the roof of the vehicle.
Five hundred metres away, at another section of the intersection.
The motorbike whipped its way through the street, then suddenly stopped abruptly.
Another crowd of zombies had suddenly appeared in front, rushing and scrambling their way towards him!
The cover of bullets that came from Zhou Rong had stopped, and the zombies were now blocking both ends of the street, the scene looking very impressive. The young man, through his helmet, glanced at the side mirror. At the corner of the street behind him, there was a fork, heading in the direction of the street on the east.
The man tightened his fingers around the handles of the motorbike, his veins bulging, then subsiding. He breathed in deeply, turned the motorbike around —
And a growl sounded.
The motorbike flew down the road like a comet, the rider’s body almost brushing past the sharp teeth of the zombies. The motorbike vaulted and slammed through the glass walls of the bookstore on the corner of the street, landing on the other side covered in glass!
Two zombie boys in front were knocked down, and their half-rotten guts burst across the ground. A third zombie reached out to grab the handle of the motorbike, and leaned down with its mouth open. A sudden bullet whistled through the air, and its skull fragmented into bits.
The young man looked up.
— Two hundred metres away, a silver grey armoured vehicle was on the rampage. Zhou Rong was lying on top of its roof with a rifle. He had one eye squinted, his thin lips curling up slightly, looking as though he was greeting him from a distance.
Immediately after that, a bullet shot past his helmet, shattering the head of a zombie aunty next to the motorbike.
“10 metres behind the bookstore on the corner of Dong Da Street3, in the 2 o’clock direction. Prepare for rescue.”
Zhou Rong’s voice sounded from the earpiece, and Yan Hao nodded and acknowledged him. When his eyes swept past the satellite map, he answered, “Not possible.”
Yan Hao stepped on the accelerator. “Dong Da Street is a dead end.”
The armoured vehicle roared in acceleration, but by then, it was too late. Zhou Rong’s eyebrows twitched, only to see the motorbike move, piercing through the pack of zombies, and without any other options available, it headed into right into Dong Da Street!
“Make a detour! Look for the best route!” Zhou Rong commanded sharply amidst the bullet shells. “Prepare to make a u-turn!”
In the vehicle, the route on the GPS screen changed, and Yan Hao turned the steering wheel as far as it could go.
At the same time, in Dong Da Street, the motorbike rider hunched down as low as possible, bursting through the tide of zombies like a bat out of hell. Then, in front of him, appeared a thick hydraulic roadblock!
By then, the motorbike had already reached a terrifying speed of 200km/h. The barrier was less than three hundred metres away, and he would arrive there in six seconds.
What did these six seconds mean?
— Unable to reverse, unable to turn, along the road was lined with zombies, and once he collided with the roadblock, it would definitely result in his death.
The pupils of the motorbike rider constricted, looking like the point of a pin. At the same time, the needle of the speedometer shuddered, turning to its limit, and the tailpipe roared like an angry beast.
“He’s going to try breaking through…” Yan Hao said softly.
Just like Moses parting the sea, the motorbike sped through the zombie horde, and all of a sudden, it drove up the metal plate of the roadblock—
It seemed as though time had froze, and even the wind was silent.
In midair, the motorbike turned three hundred and sixty degrees, drawing an arc in the air.
Zhou Rong tossed a hook attached to a rope at him. “Catch—”
Still in the air, the young man stretched his arm out, and the hook caught neatly around his wrist. He immediately pushed himself off the motorbike, and flew towards Zhou Rong.
The heavy motorbike spun crazily, landing straight in the midst of the zombies, and from there came an earth-shaking explosion!
Bang! With a loud sound, the young man landed on the roof of the armoured vehicle. Due to inertia, he tumbled towards the edge, and was caught around the waist by Zhou Rong. With a kick, he opened the car roof, and the two of them fell with a crash into the interior of the vehicle.
The team members all hurried forward, helping the two people up in a fluster. Even Yan Hao in the driver seat had turned on the self-driving function, signalling for a team member to take over. From the driver’s seat, he darted into the rear compartment. “Captain, are you alright?”
Zhou Rong hissed as he stood up, “My old waist…”
Behind him, lightning quick, the young man had dodged all hands reaching out to him, and retreated to a corner before standing up.
Through his motorbike helmet, he gazed at these people in front of him silently.
This must be a Special Forces team.
However, unexpectedly, this group of strapping men were all Betas, and in the constrained space, there was no aggressive scent of an Alpha’s pheromones.
“Here,” Yan Hao kindly passed him a bottle of water. “Thank you.”
It slowly quietened down in the vehicle. As everyone watched, the young man did not speak, nor did he express any intentions of raising his hand.
“…” Yan Hao offered the bottle to him again. “It’s for you.”
Yan Hao had that sort of appearance where if he had not join the army, he definitely could have considered enrolling in a drama school. With a height comparable to Zhou Rong, his shoulders were broad and his legs were long, with refined brows and bright eyes. A ruby ear stud glittered on his left ear, and he had an air of a melancholy male lead of some campus romance television drama.
Even the many years of pervertedly harsh training had not left any marks on his fair skin, it could be said that it was truly difficult to abandon one’s natural beauty.
However, this motorbike rider in front of him did not appreciate his kindness, and could even be described as being aloof or defensive.
“Hey…” Another team member had just opened his mouth, only to see the motorbike rider finally move.
He ignored that bottle of water, reaching out to take Yan Hao’s fully automatic carbine, and slung it around his right shoulder.
Zhou Rong turned around as he drank the water, stopping his team member, and smiled at the young man. “Hi, how should we address you?”
The young man remained silent.
“You want something to eat?”
There was no response.
The atmosphere within the vehicle gradually changed. In the cramp area, a nervousness seemed to be brewing in the silence.
Zhou Rong rubbed his chin, sweeping his eyes up and down the young man. He was fully covered in that tight-fitting motorbike jacket and dark coloured jeans, and his face was completely blocked from view by his helmet. Wafting off him was the smell of having battled with the zombies, cutting a very sorry figure.
However, he was lean and agile, his defensive posture just like a knife.
A cold, terrifying, half-sheathed sabre.
“Mate,” Zhou Rong turned a blind eye to his non-actions and asked with a smile. “Where are you heading, can we give you a lift?”
For over ten seconds, other than the sounds of breathing, only the faint groaning of the zombies outside the vehicle could be heard.
“… Back to the car park.” In the near suffocating atmosphere, the young man finally spoke, and his voice sounded hoarse due to his dry throat. “To the drugstore.”
Zhou Rong gave a friendly nod. Turning around, he went to the driver’s seat and tapped the driver’s shoulder. “Return to Dong Nan Street’s car park.”
Then, he leaned forward, and with a voice that only the two of them could hear, “Find a place to stop. I want to follow him to see what he wants in that drugstore.”